Attorneys For Illegal "Exempt" Misclassification

Juanita was hired by a large food processing company as a salaried, full-time administrative assistant in the shipping and receiving department. Within a few months, she was expected to work additional evening hours several days each week, in order to handle late-arriving trucks. As the hours added up, the majority of her daily tasks changed to warehouse labor, often driving a forklift to unload and stack heavy pallets. When she discussed changing her job classification to nonexempt so she could earn overtime pay, her employer eliminated the position.

If this case sounds familiar, call Hennig Ruiz at 424-394-0464 to discuss your circumstances with our office.

Based in Los Angeles, the Hennig Ruiz Law Firm represents workers who have been misclassified as "exempt" employees and paid a salary by their employers, often to avoid having to pay overtime wages.

What Does Exempt And Nonexempt Classification Mean?

Most employees are classified as either exempt or nonexempt status for employment. An exempt position means the employer is exempt from wage and hour laws regarding minimum wage, meal and rest break, and overtime pay (but only to a point). In general, it means an exempt employee's compensation will be based on a weekly salary, as well as possibly sales commissions and bonuses.

Employers know that many jobs require that employees work more than 40 hours each week. Many will deliberately classify particular positions as exempt, in order to get workers to put in the additional hours necessary without receiving time-and-a-half overtime pay. In some cases, salaried workers are expected to put in so many additional hours that their pay will not equal the federal or state minimum wage requirement of an hourly worker.

Under California state law, employees are required to perform certain types of job duties in order to have their employer classify their position as exempt. In addition, a salaried worker may be able to claim overtime pay for additional hours worked on projects that do not meet the exempt classification test.

How To Handle A Complaint About Misclassification

If you feel your employer has misclassified your job in order to avoid federal or state wage and hour regulations, you owe it yourself and other employees to file a complaint. Keep your pay stubs and document your job tasks and hours for several weeks. You may, but are not required to, follow your employer's policies for filing an official complaint. If nothing changes or you suffer any retaliatory actions or termination for filing the complaint, talk to an attorney at Hennig Ruiz. We offer a free consultation with an experienced wage and hour employment lawyer who will review your circumstances and explain your options.

Zhang v. Amgen Employee Misclassification Case Resulted in Jury Verdict Over $136,000
Our firm represented an employee who was misclassified as exempt in a research scientist position. Following a jury trial, we were able to recover over $136,000 in unpaid overtime as well as meal and rest break penalties.

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation

Please visit our Do I Have a Case? page to answer a few questions relating to your circumstances. If the questionnaire indicates you may have a case against your employer, contact us for a free consultation.